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Drexel Climate Change and Urban Health Research Center

the city of La Paz, Bolivia

About the Drexel Climate Change and Urban Health Research Center

The Drexel Climate Change and Urban Health Research Center (CCUH) at the Dornsife School of Public Health's Urban Health Collaborative is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of its Climate Change and Health Initiative.

The central theme of the CCUH is the creation and dissemination/translation of evidence that will support the urban policies needed to address the health and equity impacts of climate change in cities.

To support this theme, the CCUH aims to build capacities at the individual, institutional, and societal levels to conduct actionable research at at Drexel University and across our partner sites, and utilize that research to promote climate- and health-conscious policies in the cities we work in.

Why Study Climate Change and Health in Cities?

Urbanization continues to grow worldwide.

Cities are major contributors to climate change but also present great opportunities for policies that support mitigation of climate change.

Cities are also highly unequal and vulnerable to the adverse health impacts of climate change. Urban policies can also support adaptation to reduce harm.

Understanding how climate change affects health in cities is critical to developing urban interventions and policies that promote health, equity, and environmental sustainability.

Climate Center Goals

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Click to enlarge our CCUH one-pager: Why Study Climate Change and Health in Cities?

CCUH leverages existing partnerships with cities and urban health teams across the Americas to lay the foundation for impactful work on the impact of climate change on urban health.

The four CCUH Cores include:

  • An Administrative Core that ensures participatory governance as well as coordination and integration across activities, projects, and cores; supports integrated data infrastructure; ensures DEI; evaluates and plans for sustainability.
  • A Research Project that conducts cross-city comparative analysis of differential neighborhood vulnerability to health impacts of heat across multiple cities in the Americas. It serves as an exemplar of cross-city research that can be extended to other climate change related exposures and outcomes.
  • A Research Capacity Building Core increases capacity to conduct research on climate change and health in cities, focusing on urban health research teams in the U.S. and Latin America with a special focus on researchers from low- and middle-income countries and diverse backgrounds.
  • A Community Engagement Core engages a broad set of urban community and policy actors to ensure the responsiveness of our research to local needs and strengthen community and policy actors’ capacity to use research findings for advocacy and action.

CCUH Partners

CCUH partners include six institutions in the United States, Guatemala, and Brazil: the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative, the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), the University of California at Berkeley, the University of São Paulo, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)/Belo Horizonte, and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in Rio de Janeiro.

Drexel University

  • Ana Diez Roux, Principal Investigator and Administrative Core Co-lead
  • Usama Bilal, Administrative Core Co-lead and Research Project Lead
  • Kaela Barna, CCUH Project Manager, Administrative Core
  • Hal Chen, PhD student/data analyst, Research Project Core
  • Fernanda Cruz, SALURBAL Project Manager, Administrative Core
  • Katy Indvik, Sr. Policy Engagement Specialist and Co-lead, Community Engagement Core
  • Josiah Kephart, Co-investigator, Research Project Core
  • Jen Kolker, Co-investigator, Community Engagement Core
  • Mariana Lazo, Co-lead, Community Engagement Core
  • Ran Li, Drexel University, Data engineer, Administrative Core
  • Tara McAlexander, Co-investigator, Research Project Core
  • Jordan Rodriguez, Statistician/Data analyst, Research Project Core
  • Brisa Sanchez, Co-lead, Research Capacity Building Core
  • Leah Schinasi, Co-investigator, Research Capacity Building Core & Research Project Core
  • Jessica Uruchima, Data Manager, Administrative Core


  • Fernanda Kroker, INCAP Principal Investigator and Co-lead, Research Capacity Building Core
  • Luis Angel Lopez, Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Project Core
  • Monica Mazariegos, Co-investigator and Co-lead, Community Engagement Core,

UC Berkeley

  • Daniel Rodriguez, UC Berkeley Principal Investigator, Research Project Core
  • Maryia Bakhtsiyarava, Co-investigator, Research Project Core

University of São Paulo

  • Nelson Gouveia, Brazil Principal Investigator, Research Project Core

UFMG/Belo Horizone

  • Waleska Caiaffa, Co-investigator, Community Engagement Core
  • Guta Friche, Co-investigator, Community Engagement Core
  • Amanda Magalhães, Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Project Core

Fiocruz/Rio de Janeiro

  • Fatima Pina, Co-investigator, Research Project Core

Other Contributors

  • Ana Martinez Donate, Drexel University
  • Ana Navas, Columbia University
  • Anneclaire De Roos, Drexel University
  • Brent Langellier, Drexel University
  • Franco Montalto, Urban Climate Change Research Network / Drexel University
  • Iryna Dronova, University of California, Berkeley
  • Jane Clougherty, Drexel University
  • Jose Tapia, Drexel University
  • Marie O’Neill, University of Michigan
  • Mathy Stanislaus, The Environmental Collaboratory, Drexel University
  • Nancy Lopez Olmedo, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, México
  • Olga Lucia Sarmiento, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
  • Shannon Capps, Drexel University
  • Simi Hoque, Drexel University
  • Tarik Benmarhnia, University of California, San Diego

Past CCUH Webinars

Latest News from CCUH

More UHC News